Monday, May 31, 2010

Evans Evans Quite Contrary...How Does Your Garden Grow?

The garden is coming to life! How exciting just one weeks of growth can be in our gardens. Last Saturday, we had no corn at all with all the heat and humidity our garden has taken off. I feel like a parent watching my toddler take his first step, excited yet worried. Todd and Joshua moved the old swing next to the garden. This will act as a barrier to help protect the corn from winds. Last year we had to rope our corn because of wind damage. Our picnic table will be used as a container garden center, which is perfect to keep the rabbits away. We are worried about our sugar snap peas. I'm not sure if Todd planted seeds left from last year or if they are new seeds, the right side of our garden where the peas flourished last year is sporadic. Another cause could be that it has been a warmer Spring this year compared to last year. peas do better in cooler weather. We may have planted them a little too late. Concern number two is our cucumbers. The diva's are not growing. This is a special hybrid that Todd wanted because it is suppose to be immune to wilt disease that the cucumber beetles may cause. Our pickling cucumbers are growing but not as much as our other types of squash. We might have to go buy plants and try to see if they take. The Lima beans are not sprouting at all. This is on the left side of our garden. This is the same side the sugar snap peas that didn't do as well last year. We are not sure if it is the soil or due to shade. The vine beans on the far side of the garden are taking off. I think we will have a bumper crop of green beans again this year. On the side of the entrance we are trying bush yellow waxed beans. The right side of the entrance is doing great, yet the left side is sporadic. This is exactly what happened last year with the vine green beans again we are not sure if it is the soil, since this is the soil our original garden and the rest of the garden is soil we brought in a year later when we expanded the garden or it could be due to the fact it has more shade.

My goodness the broccoli and cabbage has taken off. I just can not believe how much growth in one week. The cauliflower is a little smaller, but we have never tried cauliflower before either. The radishes and onions are doing great as well as our first 4 rows of corn. Todd planted our bell peppers, hot peppers, sweet peppers, and banana peppers today. Sometime this week the next 4 rows of corn will be planted as well as more seeds for peas and Lima beans and possibly a cucumber plant. In side our Mother Earth garden we have 9 cabbage plants, 3 cauliflower plants, 6 broccoli plants, 2 rows of radishes (once they are harvested more onions will go into the ground), 1 row of onions, 4 rows of corn started with 4 more to start. We have our row of vine green beans, row of sugar snap peas, row of bush yellow waxed beans, hopefully a row of Lima beans, 6 Roma tomato plants, 6 Better Boys tomato plants, 5 bell pepper plants, 2 hot pepper plants, 2 sweet pepper plants and 5 banana peppers.Over in our container garden area we have 3 Topsy Turvy planters. The actual Topsy Turvy have cherry tomato plants below and above. One of the hangers Todd made and it has 2 pepper plants in it. In the containers on the picnic table we have 2 tubs of carrots, 1 tub of scallion, 6 patio tomatoes, 2 cherry tomatoes, 3 peppers (unknown at this time, we know they are sweet and hot but how many each we will see.) We still have 1 cherry and 3 better boys to plant in containers.

The front landscape that I thought was going to wait next year, happened this year. We split several of our large hostas that were on the left side of the shed and transplanted some to the front. The smaller ones were placed in a ring around our large Maple tree in the front yard. I planted 2 of my new day lilies in the front along with 2 coral bells. We also added 6 solar yard lights as well. Below are pictures taken prior to adding the solar lights.

A close up after the solar lights were added. We are very happy with the outcome for now. In a few years we will need to add top soil to the front yard to cover our Maple tree's roots. After we build up the yard, we will then need to either re-seed for grass or add sod, but that will be in the future.

Two Summers ago, I began a flower bed in front of the shed, this year I have completed all sides of the shed. The left and to the right we had some large hostas. The left side, the sun shines too much on them to thrive properly. The left side we dug up all the hostas and split those that needed to be split and transplanted to the right side of the shed and to the front yard. The right side is now a row of hostas. On the left side I have added several lily bulbs and 3 lily plants. This Summer they are small just like the front was 2 Summers ago. I am hoping that they fill in just as nicely on this side. Planted on the right side is 1 starfighter lily, 4 stargazer lilies, 1 casa blanca lily, and 2 asiatic lilies (lolly pop and strawberries and cream) The back of the shed for now is a row of a variety of lilies. I don't think they will bloom this year but I am looking forward to them next Summer. On the corner of the shed on the left side is my newest lilac bush. It wasn't doing very well but it looks like I have new growth, so there is a little hope for the bush. On the opposite side, I have my new tiny butterfly bush. I am very pleased with the way the beds look around the shed. I do hope they fill out in 2 years as well as the front did. Below on the left is one of my favorite planters this year. It was placed in the large basket in the front. At the end of Fall I will take this planter indoors to keep the cala lilies going for next year. Next to the planter is one of my favorite asiatic lilies that have started to bloom this week. The lambs ear is also starting to bloom.